Barack Obama sends letter of congratulations to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
The letter says:
"Dear President Aliyev,
I wish you all the best as you begin your third term as President of Azerbaijan. I look forward to continuing our conversation about important issues in our strategic partnership. Our bilateral relationship, now more than two decades old, has made significant contributions to regional stability. We have welcomed Azerbaijan`s impressive economic and social progress in this period, and we remain committed to strengthening our partnership and deepening cooperation on our common challenges.
The United States and Azerbaijan cooperate closely on a wide range of issues both bilaterally and, recently, in the United Nations Security Council. We appreciate your partnership in Afghanistan and our cooperation to combat terrorism. We stand ready to work with you to seize the historic opportunity to find a peaceful, negotiated resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and we welcome the decision you and President Sargsian have made to meet later this month. We remain committed to supporting development of the Southern Energy Corridor, bolstering reforms to advance economic diversification, and strengthening regional stability and security.
To achieve the full potential of our cooperation and partnership, we hope Azerbaijan will strengthen the democratic processes that are so important to ensure your country`s long-term stability and prosperity. As we noted following the election, we encourage Azerbaijan to take steps to deepen respect for the universal freedoms of association, assembly, and expression; to promote political pluralism and judicial independence; and to strengthen the electoral system. Our partnership with Azerbaijan itself will continue to grow ever stronger for these efforts.
I look forward to our continued close cooperation and wish you and the people of Azerbaijan peace and success following the twenty-second anniversary of the restoration of your independence."
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